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Donati, F. (2005). Traumi di guerra. Un'esperienza psicoanalitica in Bosnia-Erzegovina [War traumas. A psychoanalytic experience in Bosnia-Herzegovina] By Patrizia Brunori, Gianna Candolo, Maddalena Donà dalle Rose and Maria Chiara Risoldi with an Introduction by Silvia Amati Sas San Cesario di Lecce: Manni. 2003. 254 pp.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 86(4):1241-1245.

(2005). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 86(4):1241-1245

Traumi di guerra. Un'esperienza psicoanalitica in Bosnia-Erzegovina [War traumas. A psychoanalytic experience in Bosnia-Herzegovina] By Patrizia Brunori, Gianna Candolo, Maddalena Donà dalle Rose and Maria Chiara Risoldi with an Introduction by Silvia Amati Sas San Cesario di Lecce: Manni. 2003. 254 pp.

Review by:
Flavia Donati

Psychoanalysis and emergency during and after a war; Italian psychoanalysts engaging their human and professional resources with the unthinkable, the human destructiveness during war, thus attempting to respond to the SOS coming from colleagues in Bosnia. These Bosnian therapists were traumatised by the destruction and losses caused by the war in their personal relationships and in their communities, but they were nevertheless determined to respond with courage and creativity to their human and professional duties.

The war in Bosnia: 1992-4, 200,000 dead, 2 million refugees, thousands missing and atrocities suffered by the civil population, e.g. mass rape, the peculiar weapon used by the Serbian-Bosnian army against Bosnian Islamic women. The book tells the story of international, intercultural, interethnic and interprofessional issues, narrated in all their complexities in the unfolding of events between 1992 and June 2000 by the four Italian authors: Maria Chiara Risoldi—psychoanalyst of the Italian Psychoanalytic Society; Patrizia Brunori—member of the Italian Institute of Group Analysis (IPGI); Maddalena Doná dalle Rose—paediatrician and child psychiatrist; and Gianna Candolo—psychotherapist of the Youth Consultation Centre in Bologna.

The description is realistic, honest and self-critical. The narration is choral but with individual assumption of responsibilities. It has the warmth of an historic novel, the suspense of tales on human vicissitudes, the capacity to shed light on to disquieting controversial themes such as the ambiguities of UN humanitarian aid, individual and social elaboration of the unthinkable, the private scene of forgiveness and the public scene of justice, and its failures, namely, revenge.

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